Cognitive Disabilities- Refers to conditions that cause people to have difficulty with
mentally performed tasks.
Memory, problem solving, attention, use of language, arithmetic ability, comprehension
of visual stimuli (looking around, disinterest) are all effected by cognitive disabilities.
Cognitive disabilities include: intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, problems
caused by brain injuries, attention deficit disorder, dementia
More severe the cognitive disability, the more independence is impeded.
People with learning disabilities CANNOT have intellectual disabilities.
Causes of mental retardation
• Maternal health
Perinatally ~at or around time of birth (birth accidents etc.)
Fragil X Syndrome (Inherited) **Most common inherited cause
Most common cause of cognitive disability
Results in unique facial characteristics
Low muscle tone, flat feet, hyperextensible joints
Can cause hyperactive, distractable, impulsive behaviors (more common in boys)
Can cause anxiety, depression, shyness in girls Down Syndrome***
Most common chromosomal condition
Results in mild to moderate disability
Results in some specific physical characteristics
• Flat facial profile
• Upward slant to eyes
• Short neck
• Abnormally shaped ears
• White spots on iris of eye (brushfield spots)
• Single, deep transverse crease on palm of hand
• Smaller than average size
• Poor muscle tone (Hypotonia)
• Joint looseness
• Broad feet with short toes
• Short, stubby fingers